Center for Ethical Leadership Programs
Our major programs include:
- Nourishing Network Institute finds new ways to utilize everyone’s gifts of time, talent, relationships, and resources to find community-based solutions to deep-rooted problems, beginning with the problem of hunger.
- Changing Racial Relationships bring people together to share their experiences of racism, begin healing, and build strong relationships that are capable of advancing important dialogues and understanding around race. Participants have incorporated Circles principles into their work, including using Circles to build greater understanding in anti-racism coalition meetings and to change the culture of diversity at a K-12 school.
- The Community Learning Exchange (CLE) is a national network of individuals and organizations committed to sharing the power of collective leadership as a tool for community change across the United States. Through face-to-face gatherings and an online network, it provides opportunities for community change agents to examine their challenges, exchange best practices and learn how to use the collective leadership framework to solve problems. In 2012, the exchanges engaged 157 unique participants in dialogues about topics like “reclaiming education as a tool for healing” and “creating healthy communities through collective leadership.” Three more Community Learning Exchanges are planned for 2013.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, we saw great success in the launch of the Nourishing Network Institute, which harnesses the power of hyper-local networks to build collective ownership for community well-being. We incubated five locally-driven networks in the Puget Sound region: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, and the Northshore community. We directly support the growth and sustainability of these networks, as well as an evolving network of experts and resources. In turn, the networks have engaged approximately 800 people, including dozens of organizations, to tackle hunger in their communities. In 2012, we estimate that the networks provided over 80,000 new meals.
In 2013, we will continue to advocate for new approaches to leadership and new solutions to deep-set community problems. We’re working to spread the use of tools like Gracious Space, Networks, and Peacemaking Circles so that communities themselves can better tackle their problems. As part of this, we plan to continue to spread the Nourishing Networks, expanding into new geographic areas as well as new issues, such as domestic violence.
One of our major upcoming needs is to secure funds to continue the work of the Community Learning Exchange. Our seed grant from the W. K. Kellogg foundation is coming to a close, and we are seeking funds to continue this valuable work. The untraditional structure of the CLE can make finding funding a challenge, but we’re working with the national team to leverage all our resources and connections.